Rahul leads opposition uproar in LS demanding debate on communal tension
NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi, who has been accused of being
inactive in Parliament, was in the forefront, as the Congress along with other
opposition parties created uproar in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, demanding urgent
discussion on the communal situation in the country.
The combative Congress vice-president, who is a third
time member of the House, entered the Well for the first time to join his party
members in demanding an adjournment motion on the issue which was opposed by
Outside the Parliament, Rahul Gandhi slammed both the government
and the Lok Sabha speaker. “We are not being allowed to speak in Parliament. We
are asking for discussion. There is a mentality in the government that
discussion is not acceptable. Everybody feels it, their party feels it, we feel
it, everybody feels it,” Gandhi had told reporters outside the House.
“We are raising a point, we are asking for
discussion... The Speaker, I mean...It is completely one-sided, partiality.
That’s what we are raising,” Gandhi said.
“There is a mood in Parliament that only one man’s
voice counts for anything in this country,” he said after Congress members
stormed the Well of the House demanding a discussion on growing incidents of
Meanwhile, Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan
vehemently rejected Rahul Gandhi’s charge of bias, saying she gave
opportunities to speak to all members and parties but she could not help it if
some people still levelled allegations against her.
As the House assembled for the day, Congress pressed
for suspending the Question Hour to take up the motion. Rahul joined his party
colleagues in slogan shouting in the Well against the government after he was
seen having some discussion with his mother and Congress President Sonia
Amid the din, the Question Hour went on except for a
brief adjournment. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, while
opposing the motion, said there was no communal tension in the country.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan assured the Congress members
that they could raise the issue during Zero Hour. Prime Minister Narendra Modi
was present in the House during the din. During the Zero Hour, Congress leader
Mallikarjun Kharge made a strong pitch for taking up the matter through an
adjournment motion, saying there were several such precedents.
Attacking the government, Kharge said, “Since this
government has come to power, communal riots are spreading everywhere. Who is
behind it? That has to be discussed.” This triggered vociferous protests from
Kharge claimed that the discussion should be held as
communal violence was spreading everywhere and it was the duty of all those in
the House to maintain peace in the country. Kharge was immediately supported by
Tariq Anwar (NCP) but the Parliamentary Affairs Minister dismissed it as a
baseless allegation. “It is objectionable. There is peace in the country and
there should also be peace in the House,” he said.
Congress, RJD, SP, RSP and AAP members were in the
Well raising slogans like “we want justice” and shouting “Pradhan Mantri kahan
gaye, bhag gaye, bhag gaye (where is the Prime Minister? Has run away, run
The Speaker asked Kharge to specify where such
incidents have taken place, to which the Congress leader said “at many places”.
Immediately, Naidu got up to term it as “a sweeping allegation and I condemn
it. The country is safe and secure under the leadership of Narendra Modi.”